The 2012 season was derailed by bad offensive line and quarterback play. We know that. This is why the team went out and traded for Carson Palmer. Palmer, while playing for the woeful Oakland Raiders, still managed to throw for over 4000 yards and 22 touchdowns.
What would that play have meant for the Cardinals in 2012?
ESPN put that to the test to see how many more wins that would have meant for Arizona had he played for the Cardinals.
They use their QBR stat, and in doing so, they calculate that Palmer's play as it was in 2012 would mean 2.8 more wins than last season, or essentially an 8-8 season.
I think most of us would be happy with that result. That record means competing in a tough division, although probably with a disappointing end.
What if he can put up Pro Bowl numbers again? That would mean 6.1 more wins...or and 11-5 record. 11-5 would mean playoffs and excitement again in the desert for professional football.
You can see why the team is so excited about having Palmer. I think it is completely reasonable to expect somewhere between last year's performance and Pro Bowl-level play from Palmer. If so, and the defense does not take too much of a step back, the coaching change and player acquisitions will be viewed as a huge success.
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